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tv   Tonight From Washington  CSPAN  December 27, 2012 8:00pm-11:00pm EST

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sunday. there's no reason -- this bill has been out there for weeks. the president's proposal's been out there for over a month. everybody knows what's been asked. everybody knows what's involved. everybody's seen that the senate already voted for cloture. therefore, there's going to be a bill here at the end of the day. there's no reason why the house cannot seek to pass this and respond to our fellow in the northeast. that's what being the united states of america is all about. with that, mr. president, i yield the floor. ms. mikulski: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. ms. mikulski: mr. president recognition to rebut theburn amendment and also tofer twoefore i my colleagues, particularly those who have amendments. i want to thank them for their cooperation and being willing to offer them and speak tonight on both sides of the aisle. and i also note that the
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gentlelady from new york and the gentleman from connecticut also wish to speak. mr. president, senators -- their states who have been very hard hit should have the opportunity to speak. i'm going to take my rebuttal of the coburn amendments and just abbreviate them. with the exception of being willing to accept the amendment where you can't get emergency assistance if you are a tax cheater or if you've passed away, with the exception of a funeral benefit i really object to the coburn amendment. my objections have been so well articulated by the gentleman from new york, mr. schumer; by the gentleman from new jersey, mr. menendez, i'm not going to preet them. i'm going to ask unanimous consent that my written rebuttals be in the record.
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the presiding officer: without objection. ms. mikulski: and in the interest of time, i think we're all agreed the very intent to save money by adding delay and bureaucracy will cost money and will cost time in terms of getting people back on their feet in both their home and in their livelyhoods because remember what we seek here. helping people get their life back and helping get their livelihood back. and i think they have been very well articulated. i would like to take the opportunity to call up and dispose two amendments. i would thraoeubg call up -- i would like to call up in behalf of senator leahy 3403. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. ms. mikulski: mr. president this -- the presiding officer: the clerk needs to report. ms. mikulski: i ask -- the clerk: the senator from maryland ms. mikulski, for
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mr. leahy reports amendment 3403. ms. mikulski: i ask the amendment be considered as read. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. mikulski: mr. president this amendment simply provides authority to the state department to transfer up to $1 billion in overseas contingency operations appropriated in fiscal year 2012 for operations in iraq which are no longer needed in iraq due to reduced operations there and to use these funds for increased security at u.s. embassies and other overseas posts identified in the department's security review after the benghazi attack making additional funds available for this purpose is one of the recommendations of the accountable -- accountability review board chaired by ambassador pickerring and admiral mullen. this amendment is a permissive amendment. it is not a prescriptive
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amendment. it permits the transfer of funds between the diplomatic program and embassy security, construction and maintenance at which would otherwise be precluded due to percentage limitations on such transfers. according to c.b.o., the amendment has no outlay scoring impact. we all want to do -- we all want to do what we can to prevent another tragedy like what occurred in benghazi. the state department has done a review and these funds will be used to expedite construction of marine security guard posts overseas posts to, build secure embassies in beirut, lebanon and zimbabwe. there is nothing controversial about this amendment. these are existing funds. there is no new appropriation. this amendment has no scoring impact. it's simply a matter of allowing unobligated prior-year funds to be used for a different purpose
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of higher priority, protecting our diplomats stationed in dangerous places around the world and does require that the agency submit a more detailed reprogramming. mr. president, that amendment will be voted on tomorrow. mr. president, i also have an amendment on behalf of senator harkin. i call amendment 3426 up. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from maryland -- ms. mikulski: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the amendment be considered as read. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. mikulski: mr. president this is really -- this amendment makes two really very technical corrections that are necessary for properly implementing funding for the department of h.h.s. services in the supplemental. first it deletes the term "response activities for hurricane sandy" and replaces it
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with "purposes provided herein." a minor -- small verbal change. but response activities has unlimited meaning. this change does clarify that funds may be used to cover additional recovery and related costs connected to hurricane sandy. second it adds the phrase "to make grants" to clarify that the department of h.h.s. has specific grant-making authority for renovating, repairing and rebuilding nonfederal facilities involved in n.i.h. research. for example an academic center of excellence well known for its work particularly in cancer research will have the opportunity to rebuild. i recommend the support of this amendment. senator shelby has signed off on it. i believe it is not
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controversial. c.b.o. says it does not adversely -- it does not score at all. and i understand that the minority staff on labor-h.h.s. has also signed off on those changes. mr. president, that amendment too will be voted on tomorrow if not accepted. tonight we're just not accepting amendments and we're not voice voting them. i also want to note that we have two members on the floor whose states were hard hit. the gentlelady from new york. senator schumer's spoken. i know senator gillibrand wishes to speak. and the order that we will follow is senator gillibrand will speak as such time as she may consume to be followed by the gentleman from connecticut and such time as he may consume
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in speaking in behalf of the bill. before the gentlelady speaks, though a word to the gentleman from connecticut. connecticut's been hit twice. first by the hurricane and then by what happened at sandy hook elementary. for those of us who join with you, we just want the people of connecticut to know they're not alone. as the gentleman from new jersey spoke earlier, we are the united states of america. and where there was a disaster in one state we all have to respond as if it were a disaster in all states. the attack on one child in connecticut, we have to protect all children in connecticut and in every single state in this union. and i would hope as we debate those solutions that we really do act in a union the united states of america. once again our sympathy and
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condolences, and i yield the floor to these very able senators. the presiding officer: the senator from new york. mrs. gillibrand: thank you madam chairwoman for your leadership on this essential bill. i can't thank you enough for your tenacity and determination to meet the needs of so many affected families in our states. i also want to thank senator landrieu for her leadership to help craft this bill that way that has transparency and accountability and to learn from the mistakes of the past with hurricane katrina. she's worked overtime to make this bill a reality and i want to thank her. of course i want to thank my colleague, senator schumer for his extraordinary leadership. senator menendez and senator lautenberg on behalf of their state, it makes a huge difference. but i do want to start with senator mikulski went off in recognition to senator blumenthal. during the holidays, we often reflect on our blessings. we think about what is going
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well in our lives. we think -- we are very thankful for what's been given to us. and whether it's the health of our children, being if a safe, warm home, whether it's having a good job whether it's having a business that's profitable, whatever those blessings are that's what the holidays really are all about being grateful for them. and this holiday will be a very difficult time for so many families in newark, new jersey and connecticut. there were many loved ones lost during hurricane sandy. there were many children lost in connecticut. when a loved one is no longer around the dining room table when there are gifts that were bought that were not able to be given, it's a very sad time for our country. and what i am urging my
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colleagues to remember is what that loss feels like in their own states. we've seen so many tragedies this last year. we've seen so many disasters over the last several years. and as senator mikulski has said and senator schumer has said, this country always stands together in these times of disaster and grave need. whether it was hurricane katrina, we stood by that state that region immediately within ten days we delivered $60 billion of aid and relief to the families in need. we did the same thing for florida. hurricane andrew left devastation in its wake. we did the same thing when tornadoes hit joplin, missouri, and tuscaloosa, alabama. we stand by families in times of
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need. it's the job of the federal government to keep our families and communities safe. it's what we do. and it's that gratitude we have when others come to our side in that moment of great need that draws this body together. so what i am urging most is that we all do count our blessings during these holidays. we do look to what we have and know that there are many families who are going without without a warm home, without that loved one who's been lost. and we know from this disaster, children were taken. grandparents were taken. husband and wives were lost. and so the least we can do is help a community rebuild from that devastation. it starts with homes. now we saw so much loss in our state. we worked out that we needed
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about $17 billion to rebuild the homes in new york, and we asked for a community development block grant to cover that. now our colleagues on the other side of the aisle will have a substitute bill, a substitute bill that will cut funding drastically. it's akin to if you have a five-alarm fire, you're just sending one fire truck because that's all you want to pay for today. well, they have cut that money for housing from $17 billion down to $2 billion. so what are you saying to those families in new york, new jersey and connecticut in the region? we're not going to rebuild your house. fema right now provides individual assistance up to $31,000 for each homeowner. now, you can't rebuild a home for $31,000 particularly not in new york. if you didn't have insurance that covered or insurance claims didn't pay out or the insurance
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said sorry, it was a flood. it's not covered. what are you supposed to do? you're homeless, your family has nowhere to go. we have to be able to provide the resources for these families to rebuild. the businesses are suffering. i can tell you i saw many businesses where the structures were in rubble. but every business owner i talked to said to me, "i'm a new yorker. i'm going to rebuild and i'm going to rebuild better. i was born here. i'm going to stay here." and that determination and that gratitude for what they have and what they will have is what's going to make the difference. so i just want to thank you mr. president, for giving me a chance to advocate on behalf of our families. we do need the help of everyone in this chamber to do the right thing, to stand by others in their gravest time of need. that's what we've always done,
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and that's what we must do now. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. blumenthal: thank you mr. president. i want to first begin by thanking my colleague from maryland senator mikulski, for her very kind and generous words about the recent tragedy that we suffered in connecticut and her sense of compassion and kindness in the remarks that she just made but also thank her for her vision and courage and leadership on the legislation before us and associate myself with the very eloquent and powerful remarks made by both senators from new york and the senator from new jersey today and i want to strongly oppose
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the amendments that would constrict and delay aid that is vital to connecticut as it is to the other states of the region that was hammered and pummelled by storm sandy in the night that it hit our area. the scope and scale of destruction made it one of the largest natural disasters to affect our nation. it left millions of people without homes or electricity. it cost tens of billions in damages. the government's business and residents. the sweep and depth of destruction and human impact and financial effect was simply staggering and our response should match its historic magnitude. we must act big think big go forward with vision and meet the needs of people as we do in
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america. we are, as has been said, the united states of america. we meet catastrophe with the resources and commitment that are necessary to make sure that people are treated fairly, and here delay or reduction in resources is unfair. delay in effect is denial. and just like justice delayed is justice denied so would be the resources here if they are delayed by the kinds of amendments that have been offered and by the proposals to reduce the amount of resources that can be available. the estimates about the disaster can occupy much time on this floor, and i am going to be brief in describing what i think is necessary because i have
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previously spoken before committees of this body and suffice it to say that right away we need to redouble our efforts to reduce the personal costs and property damage of this storm but also to prevent that kind of damage in future storms. we can invest now or pay later. we will pay much more later if we fail to invest now and the path toward enlightened protection and preparation must include infrastructure improvements like stanford's floodgate, the efforts on the husatonick river to stop flooding the electricity security measures such as the establishment of microgrids and increased availability of generators especially for -- these are only examples of what can be done if we invest wisely now, and that is part of what
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this supplemental can do, and it is vitally necessary that we prepare because these kinds of disasters are in fact, becoming the new normal. this storm is the fourth major disaster for the state of connecticut in the past 19 months the fourth major disaster declaration for our state in that time. record snowfall in january of 2011 later in 2011 tropical storm irene a highly unusual october snowstorm and now storm sandy. these kinds of natural disasters demand the kind of response that the senate can do if it approves this measure without these amendments that restrict and delay these efforts. we have built our infrastructure to 100-year storm levels, but unfortunately 100-year storms
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are happening just about every year. we have to be prepared for that new normal by hardening critical infrastructure and taking time and spending money to construct an infrastructure assessment that will allow states and municipalities to know what infrastructure is at risk and what needs to be done to mitigate that risk. failing to meet the immediate needs of these areas is not only unkind, it is unwise. as the senator from new york has just remarked, sending one fire truck to a five-alarm fire is not only unkind, it is unwise. rebuilding a house for a family that had three bedrooms and restricting it to one or none is unkind and unwise because it will fail to provide housing for that family.
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so i urge this body to provide the funding that connecticut new york and new jersey need to mitigate flooding and other damage from this storm and from future storms and make sure that we receive in these states the kind of aid that is necessary so that we can not only repair and rebuild but also prepare and prevent this kind of catastrophe in the future. i thank again all of my colleagues who have been so instrumental in reaching this point, and i urge my colleagues to come together in that spirit that the united states has always done when it has faced these kinds of catastrophes. we have always done the right thing, even in the face of fiscal austerity for regions and areas of our country that have been hard hit through no fault of their own and who need this kind of immediate relief. i thank my colleagues and i
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yield the floor. i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from new york. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent that on friday, december december 28, when the senate proceed to h.r. 1 the senate proceed to vote to amendments to the bill under the previous order, that all remaining time under the previous order with respect to the amendments be yielded back, that there be two minutes equally divided prior to each vote with the exception of the following -- four minutes
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equally divided to each of the votes in relation to the coburn amendments and divisions ten minutes equally divided prior to the votes in relation to each of the paul amendments, eight minutes equally divided prior to the vote in relation to the mccain amendment 355 and ten minutes equally divided prior to the vote in relation to the lee amendment. that all other provisions of the previous order remain in effect. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: i said december 1. wishful thinking. the order should say friday, december 28. the presiding officer: noted. without objection. mr. schumer: i -- i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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quorum call: mr. schumer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new york. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent the quorum be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: mr. president unanimous consent request unanimous consent the senate proceed to a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent the homeland security and governmental affairs committee be discharged from the
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following postal naming bills en bloc: h.r. 2338 and h.r. 3892, that the senate proceed to their consideration, the consideration of the following bills en bloc which were received from the house are at the desk: h.r. 3869 4389, 6260, 6379 and h.r. 6587. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent the bills be read a third time passed en bloc, the motions to reconsider be laid on the table en bloc with no intervening action or debate and any related statements be printed in the record as if read. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent the homeland security -- i ask unanimous consent that the committee on finance be discharged from further consideration of s. 3667 the senate proceed to its immediate
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consideration. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. 3667 a bill to rename section 219-c of the internal revenue code of 1986 as the kay bailey hutchison -- mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent the bill be considered as read. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent the bill be read a third time and passed, the motion to reconsider motion to reconsider be laid on the table and any statements relating to the measure appear at the appropriate place in the record as if read. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today it adjourn until 9:00 a.m. friday, december 28, 2012, that following the prayer and pledge, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the morning hour deemed expired the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day that following any leader remarks the senate resume consideration of h.r. 5949, the fisa bill, under the previous order. and following the disposition of h.r. 5949 the senate resume consideration of h.r. 1 the
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legislative vehicle for emergency supplemental appropriations bill under the previous order and further that the senate recess from 12:30 until 2:15 to allow for caucus meetings. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: the first vote tomorrow will be at approximately 9:45. there will be several roll call votes beginning at that time in order to complete action on the fisa bill and on the supplemental bill. additional roll call votes in relation to executive nominations are possible as well. if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it adjourn under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate will stand adjourned
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>> "washington journal" starts at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> you do not always find many newspaper editors embracing this type of reporting. it's not just economics. it is the discomfort that investigative reporting causes in the newsroom. it is about more than economics. it's those people running into complaints of the publisher. and their stories are common over the years.
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people who are working for the strong upright in that area. >> the pulitzer prize-winning team will take your calls and e-mails and tweets next month on the in depth. they began their collaborative work in the 70s with the co-authors of eight books. the latest, the betrayal of the american dream. watch live at noon eastern on january 6 on c-span2. from the texas book festival american tapestry. the story of the background of michele obama. this is about 45 minutes. >> good evening. welcome. it is a delight to have you here, rachel, and to have all of
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you here. it's a lovely summer evening, and it is getting hot out there. summer will now descend upon us. we have a special treat in store for you. as you probably have read and heard about recently the book rachel swarm was written "american tapestry." i am looking forward to hear hearing about the process of this book. to begin i think what the audience probably doesn't know is that we have a lot of support, kind of a community of behind-the-scenes players. starting with the genealogist
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then a fellowship and maybe just to get started let's talk about the book itself and how we arrived at this amazing story. >> you know, i wrote a story in october of 2009 about the first lady's family. that became the genesis of this book. i am a journalist. this is my first book. this is a new experience for me. >> congratulations. >> thank you. [applause] really, when i thought to do this i kind of have this notion of, okay, i am embarking on you know he deep dive into american history in the first lady's family. i knew it would take some time. i knew i didn't have that much time. i wanted to do my best. i did get a lot of support,
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which was absolutely wonderful. in the end, it took two years to report and research and write this book. and there are so many people who helped me along the way. the catholic university helped me. they gave me a research assistant and office space. i have young children and office space is critical. the wilson center in washington dc i live in washington dc also provided me with space and support. the fletcher fellowship kept me going when i was taking a little longer than i had hoped to take. toward the end. then i really called upon experts in the field. i was doing something quite ambitious. taking the first ladies grandparents and taking them as far back as i can take them i
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reached out to the best experts in the field to point me in the right direction. >> that's right. i wanted everyone to hear that. because first of all, it speaks to how important institutions are. especially that these books don't just come out of nowhere. institutions like this as well as the smithsonian. >> that's right. they are wonderful people and really made a difference. >> rachel knows, and i know that she didn't actually use this, but i do want to make a shameless plug. [laughter] >> okay. >> our senior researcher and writer who introduced us wrote a book and if the title of fighting for america the unsung
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heroes of world war ii. and i am letting you know in letting the audience know. we are represented in the story. you talked about the structure of the book. it begins with the arrival of all sets of michele obama scrim parents. so it moves back in time. why did you organize the book in that way? was a marketing decision in terms of what the reader might take is the most compelling aspects of this narrative before moving back? why start with this technology? >> you know, when i started thinking about the structure of the book, it occurred to me that actually part of what i do is
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look for the white ancestors and her family tree. as well, the story of so many generations of people who emerged from slavery. and i thought to myself, we actually know where the story ends. with michele obama, you know the first african-american first lady in the white house. but the question is, where did it begin? it is a little unorthodox. i didn't know really when i started doing and how well it would work. i thought that i would learn as to 700 and i also thought that because there was so much silence over the generations the peeling back of the layers in hearing what little bits and pieces people knew and what they did not know. but that would give you a sense of the reverberations that slavery had over time. but you would be kind of drawn to this. >> i think silence is one of the
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most consistent themes in the book. the pain of this task. discussing the way in which he told the story perhaps as your own way of using the reader into that moment, this moment -- this terrible moment. this terrible moment that is unfolding, this legacy that begins with a six-year-old slave girl. and i was thinking about the context and the timing of this book. of course there is the first lady. and that speaks volumes to a wide group. i also wondered if thomas jefferson and sally hemmings in the story of one of the founding fathers relationships with his wife's cousin and the enslaved
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mistress. i wondered if it were not without work, would this have been a more difficult order to tell? would be harder for our collective imaginations to wrap our heads around the deeply significant humanity represented by this mixture of europeans and africans and native americans? >> i think it was certainly helpful to me. there is a framework that people have about this. ..
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these are things that a lot of people don't really want to talk about or look at and actually, in the researcher was quite clear to me that this extended both to whites and blacks and they think that sometimes people would rather look away. and in some of my conversations with descendents, white and black, it was interesting because even we in contemporary times, we are in the 21st century. these are people who know this history. we all do but sitting side-by-side in having those
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conversations were not always easy. i remember one descendent a slaveowner, who said to me you know, in the end this person decided that they didn't want to be identified in the book. i said you know, mrs. obama has said that she knows that slaveowners slaveowners and slaves run through her veins and she expects that in the person said yes, but we were on the wrong side of history. she is not. i think that it seems like a long time ago and it is obviously more than 140 years ago but it's not that long ago. >> and not so long ago in fact because you are able to work with two cousins -com,-com ma to very distant cousins, one black woman, one white woman, who didn't know they were related but as a result of the research and reaching out to
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them, they assisted in the process. tell us about your relationship to them and their relationship to this book and its history. >> the what was interesting to me was to have the kind of contemporary narrative running through the historical narrative. i thought they really what this book is about is the sweep of american history through one family and i like the idea of modern-day people grappling with that. these two women i basically was trying to find if i could identify the white ancestor in the family tree and we found that it was probably someone in the slaveowners family. so i searched for as many descendents of the slaveowners i could and as many descendents of edolphus shields who is melvinia's racial son. i went back and forth to see these women and other people in the family and they were older
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women who really wanted to know. even though they knew that what they would find out might not be easy. >> have certain members of the shields family rejected the story, or as it and kind of the universal break, the shields family being the lineage represented by the former slaveowners? >> there were mixed feelings about the research. some people really wanted to have nothing to do with it and some people were open to it intrigued a bit but not wanting to be public and then there were some people who were just you know, this is history so it was a real range. there were times when actually, who i was played into that kind of conversation. i am a journalist and you know
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we are objective. we try and hold ourselves rather removed but i remember thinking as i'm going to interview some of these descendents, are they going to look at me, a black woman and wonder? i asked one of them, does it make a difference and she said in a way it does. >> in watt way? >> you know i think in this person's view there were divides, there was a divide in even today she felt like she was on one side and i was on the other. >> do you think that -- i have spent a lot of time talking about the importance of african-american history and the importance of history in general, both of which are in many ways representative of the disinvestment in the humanity, disinvestment of the arts in
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favor of science, in favor of technology but it strikes me that what you just said and the context of the book and the fact that we still have the sort of need for the untold stories for the dark secrets is indicative of a kind of historical illiteracilliterac y that exists in our country and that african-americans and that black history in africana history itself with the subject that is most unknown or he raced from our collective consciousness. do you think that historical illiteracy contributes to our present and even to our future? do you see the larger story that you tell here as essential to your vision of the country we ought to live in? >> i don't know that i have thought about it in that way. what i definitely thought about was how reflective her family
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was of the american story and i wanted very much to imbue it with the history so that people could see that her family had front row seats to some of the most important moments in our history slavery, civil war emancipation, the migration, jim crow, the depression and that all their steps forward and steps backward reflect if of who we are. so i think i thought about it like that. >> actually i was wondering if you thought of it as a smaller project? in other words not that you would not have to put in context the individuals that make family tree and some of whom we see scrolling behind us but it strikes me in the writing of the
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book that it contained a social history, that it was a black wife, broke -- both rural urban, southern sweeping and it was intimate. i was just wondering, did that scale happen as a result of the actual research when you put pen to paper fingertip to keyboard and you thought, this is much more than i thought it would be when i set out to do this? >> i think that i always had an idea that her family was reflect that, but you are right that when you are in it it becomes something else. one of the things that actually is a practical matter as a writer which became clear to me is that when you are digging back this far you don't have the voices that you need to bring the story to life. and some of this is our history. people would say what about letters and journals? well, if you have people who are
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barred from reading and writing, those records don't exist and the historical records don't capture as much as you would like. so i realized, well i have to get contemporaneous characters from that period from all of these periods to kind of bring it to life. i am not sure that i thought about that, of kind of leading those stories of the people of the times into it. >> you did a very good job. >> thank you. >> one of the reviews did make light of the fact that you are heavy on the conditional tone, and i wondered if there that was something you were conscious of, this sense of speculative prose maybe this happened perhaps, it seems that we don't know for sure. all of those turns of phrase that for you as a writer is evidence of your responsibility,
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that you can't say with certainty that such and such happen. did you struggle with this in the writing process? >> i did actually. there is a lot less than there was. [laughter] so i think you know i am a journalist and actually when you're writing a book, it's quite different from writing a newspaper article. and you know we want to win almost every sentence attributed very specifically i know this but i don't know that. and, also too i think that there was a desire that i had and that i thought the reader would have, to put yourself in this person's shoes and he feel and to imagine, and there is a power in that. i know that i can't know and
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there is a power in not knowing too. i actually feel like that is fine, the things that we will never know but i think it was both wanting to be very careful about what i could say and what i couldn't say and also wanting to bring people to that place. >> right, and that power of not knowing or not attempting to say with certainty i think is reflective of what makes history history and not a social science report. there are no statistics were very few. you have some demographics about the migration in chicago in other places, but that is what makes the process of writing so exciting because there is some indeterminate state. there are spaces that we have to imagine what actually happens and so i want to applaud you for writing as a historian as opposed to someone you could only say things that were
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matched by strict adherence to the evidence. >> in sometimes actually you would find that what you thought or what people said was not exactly what came to be. some of that as a journalist you think oh no they said that and it wasn't this way. one of my favorite ancestors was michelle obama's great grandmother, phoebe johnson who had a stepfather. he was a remarkable man who ran away from slavery, joined the union army had just a remarkable man and mrs. obama's great uncle told me oh yeah, peg leg because he lost his leg in the war. i thought, peg legged scooter i love that. i went to the archives and i found this civil war his military record and his civil war pension and there was no medical file. the man had two legs.
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[laughter] and i thought oh, what do i do with that? and i thought, but you know this was the kind of man who made you think that was possible. he was the kind of man who is bigger than life and of course he would have lost his leg in the war. [laughter] >> speaking of water, as a source of evidence for the war records, there's this one beautifully written passage in i want to read it first of all because it reflects how beautiful prose is in the book but it's on hold fully this book matches the advance copy that i have. yes it does. i'm going to read this passage to get you all excited about what you are in store for when you pick up the book it also raises the question, it's about how you discover certain
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records. here she writes, and this is about phoebe and james. how did the marriage and done? sometimes it's dark and unraveling with the fraying of the countless tiny threads designed to people together. with one's as tiny as pinpricks that fester instead of healing. there are words hurled like daggers and unbearable silences but not at the heart. somehow over time, the small intimacies that once enmeshed husband-and-wife touch, laughter, conversation seem to vanish in the distance between lovers weather across the kitchen table or a marital bed grows so achingly wide that it seems impossible to bridge. precisely what happens between james and phoebe is hard to
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decipher, partly because the historical records for phoebe and her family that you are somewhat contradictory and partly because phoebe, who was proud and private, appears to have clung to her old habits of keeping quiet about her troubles. that is really beautiful. you discovered in one of the marriages actually, and i believe it was fraser leaves the family, goes off to war and what does he write? what does he say to the army? >> he, fraser, came from south carolina, the golden boy of his small-town and goes off to chicago to the big time and lands in the depression and couldn't find work of any kind. struggled, struggle struggle.
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got married, had two children and things fell apart. he left his family, and listed and the paperwork reads from his unless meant papers, described his marital status separated, no dependents and he had children. >> i will under what you felt like in that moment as a researcher when he saw that? that would have been hard to share with the descendents. >> it was hard to share with the descendents, yeah. >> heel to metlay went back home. >> he ultimately went back home and he rejoined his family as if he had never left. [laughter] his son told me well he came back from the war in the kind if if -- world war ii years of integration. he took the boys out and then one day they came in and he was reading his newspaper and the
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chair, just like he had never left and they never spoke of it. [laughter] >> you mentioned chicago and we have already talked about how all four sets of grandparents fraser robinson the third vaughn johnson, linnell shields and rebecca jumper called in because she was raised by your aunts and uncles rather than her parents. what was so exciting about chicago? i mean here we are, it's harlem and we have an audience full of new yorkers. share with us what chicago was such an important piece. [laughter] >> men with no bias. >> chicago is such an important place in the story. >> chicago was where it was all happening and you know, one of those big cities where people were trying to go to. one of the most fascinating record sources i found were
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these letters of migrants that one of the journalists covering -- collective. people in the 1900's who are looking for places and the "chicago defender," the black newspaper there played a big role in encouraging the migration and people wrote things like -- looking for a place, this kind of work or that kind of work and one of the letter said letters it struck me which i think i close with was, looking for a place where i can be a man or treated like a man. people thought that in this place it wasn't segregated. not like it was in the south. you could go to integrated schools and you could vote and you could make a real living wage. and there was a huge vibrant social, religious life there. no, i was going to say that when michelle obama's ancestors got
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there, the south side and she always says she is the south side girl and you are a cell site guy, it looks nothing like it did. her great-grandmother phebe moten johnson arrived sometime in 19 eight when the south side was predominately white. >> there is a renaissance story and it's a chicago renaissance and i want to read your description of it because given how important the harlem renaissance is, the cultural history of african-american and the political history still as imagined in the world and it was once described as the mac of america. you described it as a personality passion was the percussive and syncopated rhythms that have become the soundtrack of the burgeoning south side. he was handy with the drums himself and his jazz lover. there was no better place to be in the 1920s than chicago, the epicenter of the nation's blues
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and jazz recording industry. >> what is lovely actually about writing about chicago in that time was how many luminaries were there. i think langston hughes was wandering through chicago or louis armstrong and his first days of playing there. there are a lot of people going through chicago then. >> and just to affirm to my local audience -- [laughter] langston hughes, this auditorium we are in his name for langston hughes and he certainly spent many many years here at the schomberg library doing research and doing original pieces of work there are collection so we certainly have benefited from his life and his legacy. chicago also had a dark side and there is a slide that i would like to turn two number 11, that will illustrate a little bit of that. part of this history, what makes
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this a hard story is the racial violence sexual abuse, the forward and backward of the movement of african-americans from slavery to freedom. it turns out that the chicago wasn't so different than the south afterwards in some unexpected ways for those ancestors of michelle obama. and i want to just sort of think out loud about what historians call southern exceptionalism. and that is the way in which we remember this passed through the charred memories of jim crow, of slavery and even today in the 21st century a collectivcollectiv e imagination of what racism really is, what it was really about, is about everything that happened not in places like new york. new yorkers knew better, right?
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but if you live in des moines, iowa, if you live elsewhere in the heartland, you may not think that the north had any part in this post-emancipation story. this is a slide from the chicago race riots of 1919 and here you see the police arriving on the scene of a young black man who was literally stoned to death after a 13-year-old boy had been murdered at a beach because he swam across an obvious color line. many people lost their lives. many african-americans ended up homeless. but this is a culminating moment. you described in the idyllic racially integrated hyde park that is now the home of the first family, the bombs are going off two years before this happened. what is going on in chicago? >> you know was fascinating when i read this because cb moten
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johnson, michelle obama's great-grandmother lived in height harkin that was the big deal because she lived not far from where the obama's live today. someone had recommended to me the chicago commission study of the race riots. when i was going through their and i discovered these bombings african-americans were moving into hyde park and there was this active concerted campaign to move them out. i realized, my goodness. >> it wasn't parlor conversation. it was vicious propaganda. >> it was remarkable. and i can't remember now exactly how many there were, but these bombings -- >> about 50 a. >> they began before and continued after and again i don't know -- >> was at a planned activity in hyde park? >> was a really striking time.
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it was the first that i knew about it. i didn't know about that and in talking to the obama's relatives i learned that phebe had talked about it, that she when the riots were sweeping the city she was by herself. her husband traveled as an itinerant minister and was often away. she got a pot full of water and lie and boiled it on the stove and said she was ready if they swept into her home. it was the first time it was interesting to really be placed there and see into really there. >> that part of the book in some ways really does -- by the time to get you get to the reconstruction violence that you describe, i won't say that you are numb but you certainly
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certainly -- atat that point. a "new york times" reviewer said of michelle's ancestors that they were and that quote all plain people who own no property. theirs was mostly a bitter tale full of abandonment, early death, poverty, or friends and illiteracy. yet occasionally a story of church homebuying business family and letting. is that entirely correct? >> i will and say that. it is hard history as i said, but i think one of michelle obama's and said it best for me when looking back on this and that asked them, how did they get by? she said, their american dream was to dream a little at a time, and they did. daydreamed and they got married. one of the things that was wonderful to read about was this
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period of time after slavery ended, when michelle obama's great great great grandmother and great great great grandfather in virginia lined up with scores of other people to have their marriage legalized. this is happening all across the south. there were so many things that were meaningful happening to people. i think it was hard, but they moved forward. >> just to press the point a little bit more, there are business owners, property owners. and there is a college president. [laughter] >> that's absolutely right. >> and illiterate non-property owning college president, is that right? >> part of it is true. obviously all of what he describes is true, but i think there is a lot more. i don't think that, i didn't
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come away feeling more in down down -- endowed by the weakness of the. i found it inspiring what people made of their lives despite it in the duquette allow. >> just to press this .1 step further, it struck me in reading it that by reducing the complexity in a passage like that in a 750 word book review, it gives the impression that this is the kind of unusual story, which is that it is all struggle and strife and there are these passing moments of brightness in this doom and gloom and as a person who writes about terrible things that have happened in the past, i'm well aware of how bad things get but i thought would make your stories so rich and enveloping was that by making it into a
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story, in a broad sweeping context, we were able to see the complexities. we were able to learn about individuals. we didn't have to read a textbook version of this moment. moment. when you people by their names. we knew their children and many of their parents so someone mike howard johnson timmy sticks out much more is representative of the complexity of this moment rather than what was conveyed at that point. it just made me wonder that maybe that simplified the story is a product of the history and their lack of knowledge. we aren't yet able to appreciate the complexity of the story. >> to me complexity is great. things are rarely black and white in life. no pun intended. there is lots of great. there are lots of things that we now and there are lots of things that we don't know. i think that's really part of the richness of life in our
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day-to-day lives. and i really wanted to capture that and to tell a story that was sweeping and historical but was really human. these people are very very human and how, you know, they live their lives and i wanted people to connect to that. i didn't want it to be simple or easy. speeds so one of these really incredible characters, but to go back a little bit maybe to the -- third slide and i'm going to read his name out loud because it is quite a character. go forward one. that's fine. edolphus theodore shields edolphus theodore shields, his moment, the life that he led the first of all, he lived to 91? >> they had gray jeans jeans and that family. >> he lived to be 91 and i'm going to read your description
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of him because i think first of all it gives us a little bit of the flavor for who he was and how he was received in the world but also he is a perfect illustration of a person who literally came of age and was born in 1859. is that correct? >> somewhere around there. 1851. [laughter] >> he is borne. he is melvina's child in the first generation of and he goes on to do precisely out of his opportunity but there is a lot of, there is a lot that isn't clear in that moment of the reconstruction period so i'm going to read the description on i'm going to talk about the fact that we can't look back and see this as a story that white supremacy is always there it's always defining and limiting but there are cracks.
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edolphus clearly is able to exploit. you describe him as quote something of a ladies man. he was strikingly handsome. maybe that's not the best description. strikingly handsome with piercing brown eyes and an aqua line knows, olive skin and an irrepressible sense of confidence. ..
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the most significant manufacturing industry in the 20th century history. i'm semi-taking liberty douglas got things pulitzer prize. superman has this helpful history around the time adult issues. it's an iconic place for the civil rights struggle and the children's crusade in 1963. but what is he able to do in birmingham in a way that challenges what we think about this. >> he did not want to be a farmer. he did not want to be a sharecropper. this is a place that early on was that segregated. we think about her manhattan is
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misrepresented -- but the office, when he first appears in the census as a homeowner has white neighbors end up with that, not the time. it was a place where someone who wanted to make his mark at at the field could do that. >> so he buys property? >> he buys property. >> another property owner. >> between you and me again -- >> s., make and found office. >> he really is an amazing carrier chair and he becomes for you one of the most distant relatives who has this amazing story. but you also find people you interview the new doll face and also new melvina. so tell us how you were able to
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write about melvina life. >> one of the amazing things has been able to find people who actually knew melvina can a woman born into slavery in 1844. i found two people who knew her which is even now remarkable. the reason why that was possible is that she lived an extraordinarily long life. she died around 1938 and bcp paul also lived in extraordinarily long-lived unfortunately, both of them have since died since i interviewed them. so imagine i'm going to meet these people and talk to them. what am i going to find? this is a research as i can a site. they were great except that they were teenagers at the time when she was in her 90s. and so the things that i was dying to know were not the kind of things they were really
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interested and at that time. but they did give me a really wonderful window of her life in this town of kingston in northern georgia where she worked. these people also note adolphus and his younger brother henry. >> separated by 20 years. >> who is a complicated relationship themselves. they talked about the questions in the community of who were the fathers of these children of these dark women were annoyed and asked these questions. >> i wondered in both adolphus's narrative and your description of him and you're sort of describing the history of the way that skin color mattered. i wondered if there is a form of racial profiling and not.
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and i don't mean the sense of criminal justice or policing, but in a way i wonder if their time. come in the late 19th century the sense of identifying a person's racial heritage the lineage across the color line was even more sophisticated than than it is today. is that something that for you because you write about the way that skin color mattered. but he also wondered if for people of that generation where adolphus was by virtue of time in history someone who h. are connection to a white ancestry is their sense of policing, because we look at in this audience right now and beat the amazing rainbow of color. but something happened over the 20th century or color simply doesn't matter. the rainbow doesn't matter because it's really just a binary by the time jim crow is fully entrenched.
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there is the kind of fluidity, the racial radar was a bit more sense to do the nuances that color demonstrated that features demonstrated. was that for you something you're looking back at that moment that these people were perhaps even more sophisticated than we are today in terms of the way we assign moral value to individuals based on race? >> you know one of the questions i did ask myself was whether or not people did sort of assume what had happened based on what adolphus looks like. part of the reason they did not ask was because if you are looking at someone who had been a slave and looked like that and didn't have a father present you probably had an idea of what might have been. and i think in this day and age
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we are in this. i'm so much immigration increased interracial marriage people embracing multiracial is in check as many boxes as the lake and we think of this is a very unique. the back and in 1890 there were 1.1 million people who are classified as mixed race that the census had about 5 million categories for people. >> can you describe the case at harvard was something like 10% of this population was identified as an extreme sport mulatto, determined that time. it made me wonder to what extent they knew better but here we are at the end of the 21st century and we still attach whole categories of humanity
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based on the simple designation of it but person versus a white person. that still means a lot in this country and how we support the country that we live in, whether it's public programs education whether it's how our criminal justice system functions. repass the light of judgment and would organize an powerful and often destructive ways based on simple binary calculations. we have a whole criminal justice system right now that's all too comfortable with targeting young, black men regardless of the rainbow of colors they represent. as long as we see that they are black is good enough. there is a fluidity here than in some ways some unlike adolphus is able to exploit. what i read in the story as whites could read that too. someone should the lineage whether they want to embrace it or not.
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i wanted to finish with two things. one, you describe in very powerful language the onset of jim crow and it made me think about reconstruction and see. that perhaps we don't talk enough about because it is this moment of tremendous achievement for that first generation of formerly enslaved people. you describe the tens of thousands of people in south carolina are disenfranchised by new sets of law, but just a decade before two decades before your something like 1500 african-americans serving across the country at various levels is local, state and federal offices. 14 congressmen, two senators, lieutenant governors. it's really powerful. for the kenai tremendous opportunity and promise in the
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future and so much changes so quickly. it makes me think about her own moment and wonder how fragile is progress. >> when i was at the newberry, i was looking for michelle obama's ancestors. one other thing as kerry says whether i could find out who is the first person in the family to vote. it was a hopeless quest. but i was in the newberry library, a lovely library in chicago and i stumbled across a book that had voter registrations from the 1860s from north carolina. and i look do not book and no jumpers. and i thought it my father, he's from north carolina.
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otherwise, my great great great grandfather, who in 1867 40 years old, two years free registered to vote. he was approved as a voter. i don't know if he voted are not. we certainly know it happened later. we know that that vomited people seizing hold of democracy and participation was cannot end for him and his children. but that moment, that was some pain. >> not only is that moment some day, but i think it reminds us your story reminds us in the way you tell the story reminds us that whatever the first family wrote his son in terms of moving past the racial divide of the
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20th century. and everyone doesn't agree. it's clear there's huge differences both of experience in terms of being black in america today and also perception. one of the most powerful lessons they think your book demonstrates this if you believe there is progress, you want to protect it. this relate to show us how fragile, whether it is the challenges of racial violence in chicago for aspiring migrants to expect better of their new home for the demise of political power and participation in the wake of the emergence of jim crow. it strikes me that in this moment we have to be vigilant about whatever d&c may. >> notice prior to me that people where they could were
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striving. i said too much about striving, too. that was one of the things the book review said. people took the space in did the best they could. i think that's meaningful. >> i want to finish. i said there'd be two points. that was the first. second, you mentioned are relative voting. i want to mention, we have decided to go to maybe 12 or 13. stevie's mother is born in something like 1835 1836. the distant cousins who were instrumental in connecting family datsun sources. sighed. fraser robinson, these are the shallow promise parents. craig robinson, brother on the
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right. so this unknown character, who does not appear in the book is a contemporary of mary. so mary milton and this gentleman were born roughly a year apart. he's a mississippi farmer, who is noted in the 1870s senses as it 35-year-old who is part of a census tract that include a woman named betty warp. antiwar and robert gavin had a child named henry. could you go to the next slide? so on the census records from 1870 and mrs. v., the last name is at the top in the left corner and you see the household as you
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come down you'll see white farmer. come down she is 31 black farmer. she's from virginia come eastern mississippi. i know this is not so easy. these four names of. next slide out. they are henry shows up in the night 200 census. now he is 32 years old. henry, if you follow it down, as one, two, three lines down to eugene sun, 10 over 1297 sold. that teaching gavin is my great grandfather. now go back to slide. robert gavin, my great, great grandfather was a white mississippi planter who also thought in the confederacy. go figure.
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[laughter] so it seems than that this is emblematic that this really is an american tapper steve and we really ought to share in some ways in obama's story. i wanted you to have the last word about what more in what we might tell her children about this history and connectedness in spite of all of this ugliness in many uncomfortable ways. >> i think we should talk about it. it's hard to talk about but the reverberations from any and i think i'm a communicator, i'm a writer so maybe a bit too much emphasis and hope the dialogue. talking about how some understanding the history helps.
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i hope that interest in michelle obama's family might bring a little interest in history too. >> well, we will applaud her in just a moment. [applause] you have another opportunity but now it's your turn. anyone who has a question or comment, please don't offer both. if you would like to say something, you can have your moment. the microphone is open. if you have a question, please keep it brief. anyone? this is the first at the schaumburg. surely someone has a question.
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>> i'm going to wait for someone to come behind me. i know there's more than one. >> you can get started. >> is truly an honor. congratulations. i haven't had a chance to say that to you, dr. on your position here. i want to make a comment question. [laughter] this has really taken me to another level where i can begin to understand what i need to do to calm down a lot of the stuff that's happening today from yesterday. the franklin shelter in the bronx. if i'd knock it back in time, i talked to the director, mental tourists coming here and i needed a late pass. i want to know when you have stuff like this and i'm not going to boogie down club and
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never was it to keep down person, why homeless people are penalized when this is so relevant. this ties into the salvation army, which started in 1865, who ran for shelter. you get the picture. how do we help homeless people get involved, come out to both of you. i'm not going to say punch them in the nose and he said it without anger, can we do something here because there's so many more people who want to come out. they need to hear this. >> thank you. [applause] >> i would say first of all thank you for coming. [applause] and i can't speak to that issue,
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but i don't know. >> on to say we live in a punitive society and the incentive to change this society run through being able to embrace and wrestle with the origins of inequality in this country. so if you think of people get what they deserve, if you think poverty is purely a function of individual choice and self-destructive behavior and bad decision, then you have no appreciation for someone trying to understand the road we live in, especially when it comes to a history that implicates the society and not about the individual. so i applied you also for being here. i'm glad that she raised the issue in this space so that others might think about something that they might not ever know which is how difficult it is to participate
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in forums like this given your situation so, thank you for bringing that to her attention. >> i want to thank you for writing such a wonderful book and writing it in the way. i haven't read it yet but from what you described, writing it in the way you did because it focuses on in the struggle going back to slavery and afterwards. the one thing that she mentioned towards the end of the discussed about losing the rights that we had. it seems we are going through a period like that now. with the various states that
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enact good photo i.d. laws on the pretext that they are trying to protect the voter rolls and voter fraud. indeed you see that we need to be as strong as our ancestors in the underlying pretext and that is and be as strong as they were in pursuing on keeping the rights we have gained from the 60s on. [applause] >> there's been quite a discussion coming in now in the states about this. the justice department as he now has been vigorously looking into these instances.
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i feel like looking back into history as useful. i think we often think about the civil rights movement in particular because it's more recent. the back to that those people who voted in hot office in the 1860s and 70s. those things matter and we do need to be vigilant in a democracy always about our rights as citizens of all stripes. i think it matters. >> i will completely agree and i think some people might say bring it. that might call for a third reconstruction precisely because of the backsliding that is unfolding right as we speak. >> i want to thank you for writing the book. i teach the douglas narratives
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are de facto fineness my freedom and enough pokey says there is a lot that no one could save to save master had and african women. i'm wondering if you know if that law became custom on both sides but we didn't discuss it. that's my first discussion. what is the premise of your book and is it considered journalism or history? because they took sally hemings just a story and made the novel from it. i want to know the pattern you decrease your book in. >> it is history. other journalists, so it is history. it's nonfiction in your first question again? [inaudible] >> i have not heard that.
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i do know that it is not considered safe crime to raise a black woman. that i know. but i've not heard about that. the premise of the book really is to tell the story of the first lady's family and her ancestor as far back as i could take it and in so doing, tell us a little bit about ourselves. we can talk after. [laughter] >> hi, harriet cole and i'm so happy to be here. i learned from don davis. >> your editor. i had the good fortune of work in a leadership role at avenue when the outcome is decided to step into the race. at the point at which michelle
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obama -- where there was a turn and she said they became coming in a comment the black woman shaking her knack. she was doing a story with ebony and i interviewed her and we had a half-hour. last question is always is there anything you have to tell me? and she said yes. she said i want you to come to chicago, what in the street i grew up on interview my mom and my friend. because of what you have done. it is clearly more than her. she doesn't stand a strong as she does and what could be considered a powerful and clear and grounded and is so great you've created this book to tell this incredible story. i am wondering, did she know if this history before your
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unearthing a? >> it was news to her. a ladder that was new. we had written an article in "the new york times" about melvina and adolphus. this is the first time she had heard of them. she did not enter family had long. that was something they always thought. they did know the particulars like many people don't know the particulars. >> just like to thank you again for the writing of the book and a quick comment. the evidence i would suggest evidence i would refer to other laws that are on the books
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against mixed marriages if you will would suggest to you that this is said name that was a very common occurrence that is happening way back then. otherwise they would not have been a need for the laws that you have on the books all over the place trying to prevent such things to mccurry. it's very common. >> this is not my area of expertise, but there are people legal scholars in particular who have looked at relationships that were real relationships as in people living as husband and wife and even white men trying to pass on property and possessions to family and struggling to do that through the course.
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so i think there is certainly some of that. but the extent to which i can't speak to. >> to add a little bit of context, actually one of the very first slave codes was i believe in 1670 law in virginia to prevent cohabitation between a man of african descent and women of european descent precisely because the future of slavery was not what it would become it that point. there was tremendous fluidity. there is a lot of unity based on the experience of indentured servant in early enslaved african that effectively produced a lot of interracial what would've been cohabitation cohabitation are to some extent marriage at the time. in other words, you're precisely
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right. it is so much a problem but that earliest slavery followed into a very rigid system of control already people of like mind, of shared experience found each other and it matters little that one was of african ancestry. so that problem goes back to the very -- it's not a problem. rephrase that. an expression of humanity goes back to the very beginning. post are not are not any other questions. please raise your voice because c-span needs to hear your voice. they will hear you if you're not a microphone, pulling at the question from the middle. [inaudible] >> all repeat the question. do you know if michelle obama ever met two women true and joan b. for?
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>> now, she's talking about melvina. the question was, has michelle obama or did she ever make it to people who knew melvina, did she meet them before she died and they did not. >> i want to follow up on a question raised earlier. what has been the first response to this book better in press accounts her position on the writing of this book which has been a very public thing. "the new york times" has stood behind and jodi cantor has been part of a moment of exploring michelle obama. so it's not as if she doesn't know. press accounts suggest that she has not fully embraced this investigation. and so i wonder now that the books out the story send
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critics of reagan you're at the schaumburg center research in black culture, has she called you a? have you received an e-mail? [laughter] >> i can tell you that the first lady to send off and call or e-mail reporters. that i know for sure. she is a policy of not participating in books and that is a blanket policy, which is sad for all of us who are writing them. during the process i met with members of her staff to kind of update them as i went along. before the book came out i gave copies to her staff and she has also seen the books. what she thinks i don't know. >> well come it strikes me take it in your investigative journalist, you will find out. [laughter]
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[applause] >> for more information, visit the author's website trained >> 's adversaries put missiles
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in cuba. the united states over seven surveillance flights over there and then the tension builds and we have a quarantine or blockade around cuba. one of the everything that happens during that time is a soviet submarine is found by american shapes and they start to drop missile charges, said churches on the soviet submarine. they knocked out the electrical system. the carbon dioxide is rising. people are passing out inside the submarine. they have no predications at the kremlin. the commander of the submarine says luther torpedoes. let's attack at the world were probably started already have the best. i'm not going to do somersaults down here in the word starting had been appointed disgraced our country. so they sent it ready to launch. fortunately, one of the other commanders on the ship talk to matter that. might it save the world.
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>> this is so close to the edge and it really was one of the scariest moments in mankind. >> we didn't know this, we were teenagers, but that's how this criticism of kennedy and all this quarterbacking. but we wouldn't even be here to talk. >> authored david maraniss has been researching his 10th book, "barack obama: the story." for this project the "washington post" associate editor prizewinner traveled across the world to campus indignation at comic and akamai hawaii, new york and chicago.
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david maraniss spoke with relatives and discovered the president's african ancestral history. he toured houses were young barack obama lifted into a shot and found a kansas family homes in neighbor's mother family began. and for the next two hours and david maraniss discusses his latest book "barack obama: the story." and then take your calls e-mails and treat. >> host: david maraniss, you write in "barack obama" but no product could be more the product of randomness than that of barack obama. >> guest: is the whole world coming together and hung on the lulu, who happens to come there from kenya because he reads the story and this is a great place because of its diversity and a mother who can't say because she is a father who has his
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wanderlust and is never satisfied and set up and a class and here comes barack obama who emerges as a whole global random access into his own until he becomes president he becomes president of the united states. >> host: braided their lives begin in kansas? >> guest: well and butler counties where obama's grandfather grew about. madeline payne and stanley dunham. i start the story in topeka because stanley's parents lived there for a short time. his father, the president's great-grandfather was an auto repair man upstairs. and the great-grandmother we've done him got married at age 15 but they difficult manage and the book begins with her suicide.
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gunk stanley, the president's grandfather comes back to el dorado and butler county and that's where he meets the grandmother and the story begins. >> host: we want to show you a video montage shot by your wife linda maraniss on your trip in april 2009. [inaudible] [inaudible] >> a tiny town of eldorado. >> were barack obama's grandfather -- [inaudible]
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[inaudible] >> 2009. >> 2009 three-ring topeka, kansas, capital city of kansas and the scene of a tragedy and the obama story or is great-grandmother committed suicide and stan done him with eight years old at the time when is great-grandmother died. they looked a little house here down a few blocks in the great-grandfather, proust done him ran a garage and auto shop on sixth avenue, right around the corner and that's where she took some strychnine and was
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found dead on the night of thanksgiving come in 1826. >> you need to have a little slower? >> were now approaching the house at 703 buchanan. the little white two-story shotgun house no more than 10 feet wide. one house from the corner of seven and buchanan. a little front porch. i'm sure it's the same house as 1926. this is where it died it died in front of those brick walls. this is the garage where the
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truck is parked. >> fabric is old. >> david maraniss, how old was she when she killed herself? >> guest: she was 26. >> host: by the she killed herself? >> guest: she killed herself because what we know she left a suicide note that said that she was distraught over has-beens philandering. so that was the immediate cause. >> host: and that was the president's grandfather, stanley dunham's grandmother? >> guest: she believed only to be 26 and because of that traumatic event, stanley and his
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older brother, golf back down so the vein of his grandparents and his great-grandfather, a character named christopher columbus clark who had fought in the civil war. >> host: would've stanley and madeleine grandparents made? >> guest: payment and access to, which was about 12 or 15 miles from old toronto, sort of on the way to wichita and that's where madeline grew up. stan had dirty been out of high school for several years. madeline was a senior in high school and he was working in construction and a renovation of an oil plant down there. >> host: what was their life like kansas? >> guest: daylight before they married or after? >> host: after they married. >> guest: her parents didn't really like him. as a matter of fact the first
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thing that her father said was i don't want you married that walk. he was dark skinned so an element of reason now. she married him secretly before she graduated from high school. she married him secretly before she graduated from high school. she was a very smart, young women has always been the honor roll until she met stanley who wisla caird and slick talking and promised to get ready for arkansas. out of kansas. and that's what she wanted. she had grown up sort of loving bette davis and the sophistication of hollywood in your she was stuck in a small town. stan promised something else. he darted into california and promised to take her back there. to answer a question directly were somewhat unstable. not that their marriage is necessarily unstable, but it chasseurs unstable and they never knew where they were coming next. so it was a rocky road. >> host: on the kenya side of
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the family where did the obama clan began? >> guest: at the obama clan began in sudan several hundred years ago. but i start the story in the small village of canady on in the southeast of the major city of their hymnbook recalled that will land. it's a very poor part of kenya. it's worth a luo tribe dissenters come the second second or third car chase. luo are about the same and that's where the obama sound themselves. >> host: on the president's paternal side, who are his grandparents? gusto his grandfather was born in the late 1800s and was in
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the first wave of luo to be westernized. the adventists had come to western kenya. his famous and not not do at that point from the seventh@and another race became sort of inculcated into the british colony. so you were as a leader of the chef, a cook for many british military people and folks in nairobi. and the mother was a woman named a condo who came in that area and she did not -- was a very difficult guy to live with. he and several wives which is part of the luo culture. when he moved on, in the area near where she grew up moved back to another homestead of the
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obama clan around the lake victoria. she'd had enough. he had a new junker wife along with him then and so she ran away. so she left the family when her of obama the's father whose name is also barack hussein obama was a good little boy. postcode david maraniss come his grandparents in kenya died in 1979 and 2006. did president obama ever meet them? >> guest: no. he never met his kenyan grandparents. he got there in the 1980s after his grandfather died. he only meant his own father aside from the very, very early days, but he didn't give that to kenya until both of these grandparents are gone. so there's a dramatic difference in that part of the story. >> host: ford "barack obama: the story," how many interviews did you do?
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>> guest: i would say almost 400. and i had a wonderful assistant, gabrielle banks who worked with some of the parts of the story, but i traveled all around the world. so i interviewed everybody i could find in every part of president obama, of his parents and his grandparents. >> host: barack obama senior was born in 1836. that was his childhood but? >> guest: from a fairly early age, was dealing with western culture and the british. he was a very smart kid. his father was difficult to get along with do not often that. mostly in nairobi and barack was growing a. he was lucky in the sense -- two senses. what was he was smart enough to
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get into the only really good school in that area. and although she matter totally finished fair, he was a very smart dude and. he had that sort of clash of old and if not most everyone in this generation had to deal with. for all his youth and adolescence, he was living in a colonial country in a very poor part of kenya. so you know, he lived in mud huts with goats and cows and no television or anything like that. almost a century behind in some ways. and yet, kenya was starting to emerge during all of his youth. the rebellion was beginning to push for independence and westernization is taking hold in
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so many different ways than he was part of that. so he straddled two very different worlds. >> host: david maraniss, how long were you in kenya and what did you see over there? over the lake over there? >> guest: kenya is one of the great experiences of my life. it was so vivid. everything is unforgettable. we were there for about two weeks and it felt like a year. and a wonderful sense though. every day was so rich. we flew from 10 to london to nairobi and spent a couple days interviewing people there because barack senior had spent much of his career and nairobi. and then after several days we drove from nairobi across the national highway at all the way up west to a sumo one of the
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most unforgettable drives of my life. so the point was twofold. one was to find as many people as they could and interview them. i had the help of the wonderful researcher named kenneth o. pilot, was a great canadian journalist in nairobi and he and i have been working on different aspects of good information for many minutes before we got there. we were incredibly lucky to also have a translator who i had meant in the united states who happened to be in kenya and an actor ever come to kenya to a german for "washington post." >> host: how might interviews did you do? >> guest: i ended up doing 40 45. most of them during those two weeks, a few of them over the phone later and a few of them where people were not available so i provided the questions for ken and he would conduct the
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interviews. >> host: well, booktv traveled with you to kenya and conducted an interview fare as well. we went to show that to you now. >> host: maraniss, gender 15 2010. we been in western kenya for today's busy work on work on your new book out of this world coming to make in a barack obama, correct? has it been worth it to be in western kenya? what have you learned? >> guest: i would say that these days at the source of days they need to why i do what i do. everything about it from morning to night just energizes me even as i get tired of doing interviews the notion that this is the reality behind so many sort of things you think you know, but you don't really know. it's when i proceed vibrant life and things that i never could
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see in my lifetime any other way than because of what i do. i just think well i am so lucky. in his last two days we've traveled around this part of western kenya based in casino the capital of this part of the country and this sort of informally called luo land because the main tribe are the luo, the tribe from which barack obama's family came. we drove down to a little town called because, where we interviewed barack obama's only living paternal aunt and the sister of barack obama senior, living in a small mud floored one-room house back in the back
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streets of this tiny village with only a couple of couches they are and about five pictures and a few calendars on the wall and most of them related to the president of the united states. and to think that this woman you know you can't go any further into the middle of nowhere to the western world, to the small village in africa. and you think the brother of this woman is the president of the united states is just kind of mind-boggling, awesome and revelatory. and so that is how we started today. and from there, we interviewed three other members of the obama clan in the can-do bay area around like that doria all of whom told stories you could never get any less about obama's
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grandfather. his father, barack obama senior what through the compound of the obama clan down they are and saw the gravesite of obama his great-grandfather, the person for whom the obama name derived. just kind of amazing stuff all day. >> host: you spend a lot of time in interviews talking about the tribal situation in kenya. >> guest: it explains a lot about barack obama senior. this book is more than just a biography of barack obama who became president of the united states. it's about the places they created him come the people that created and starred in two generations back and moving through to obama himself. and his father in some ways represented the promise and the
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frustrations of africa and of kenya and on a more personal level of the sudden brilliance in flawless. and some of that have to do with tribalism. the luo are the second largest tribe in kenya in the colonial period when the british dominated kenya really created the sort of tribalism putting all the different tribes into the reserves in different parts of the country. and so when they got independence in god power, there was this unfortunate sort of conflict for power in the luo were basically, ever since 1963, had been dominated by the larger tribe and barack obama senior was a nationalist. he wasn't a tribalist. when he came back to kenya in
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1965, and started his career here he suffered because he was the luo in many cases. i wanted to get the full context of that. furthermore another character in the part of the story in a really fascinating guy is named tom boyer and he was really the intellectual leader of the luo. he was a major spokesman for all the independence movement in kenya before the break flask. he was always thought to be a possible future president of kenya and he was very in the cold war era he was western oriented of the united states and help them in many ways. he was also the patron of barack obama senior. it is largely because of him that obama got to the united states. the whole reason that barack obama our president exists
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wouldn't happen who organized the air lift that brought the first 81 kenyans to the united states. and was assassinated in 1969 by the presumption this by people high up in the leadership who were afraid that he would become president in a power struggle. it was never clearly established , but the man who is tried and hanged as his assassin some of his last words, why didn't she go after the big man's comment may need somebody who organized this whole thing. and that assassination also fueled barack obama senior's frustrations fueled more of the tribalism that created problems ever since. >> host: when you talk to folks about barack obama senior, a term that keeps coming up in this may be misleading, but if you would answer, politically
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connected and political intrigue. >> guest: well, barack obama senior was trained as an economist at both university of hawaii, where he went under graduate and at harvard, where he left before he got his phd but took quite a bit of study there. he was a fairly brilliant macro economist. but his rise and all of his movements within the government in nairobi over the ensuing decades was filled with logical intrigue and frustrations. after just doing for days -- five days of interviews in kenya, three in nairobi and to hear, my mind is spinning with all the intrigue i've heard. just one story after another at
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the manipulation and death threats and people losing their jobs because of tribalism or some other sort of move for power. and barack obama unavoidably was caught up in that. >> host: another term that is this alcohol at. >> guest: i think barack obama >> guest: i think barack obama senior definitely had a drinking problem. many of the people that has interviewed have caught caught in an outright alcoholic. some of his family members of the day to go that far just say you drink a lot. but he certainly -- there were a lot of occasions where many of the people i've interviewed and said that he loved his double double. double scotch and would drink it any hour of the day and that it really did affect his life.
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the attribute it's in part just to an alcoholic is a genetic thing, but also the frustrations that he had over the years because of his family life and because his job employment ups and downs, just exaggerated it. >> host: womanizer. >> guest: everybody says he thinks about barack obama senior. one is that he was an ex is that he was an excellent dancer and another was that he loved women. i don't think the word woman is there used in kenya and the same way it is in the united states partly because much of kenya is a polygamist culture. the luo from which you came are definitely part of the polygamist culture. his grandfather from what we've been told over the last few days
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have perhaps as many as 15 wives. barack himself -- barack senior had four wives, but not all at the same time. he had at most two at the same time. he was divorced from his two american lives at different points, but he also had many other women and i never felt comfortable using it but he definitely had a lot of women in his life. >> host: what about other children? could they not be known quite >> guest: i have no idea and that it's not really, except one key type interviewed started choking that there might be children scattered all over western kenya. but he had from his four wives he had eight children and that's
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really all i've been able to confirm at this point. >> host: of this age are any talking? >> guest: well, not yet. and it's really interesting situation within the obama family. there's a lot of friction going on. they don't all get along. some of them will talk, but imply they want some renumeration forward. others have been asked to be given at the family. so i've interviewed a lot of people who haven't talked before but the actual have brothers and sisters, we'll see maybe tomorrow. >> host: you have been asked in many different ways for renumeration. is thatcommon in the states? and how you handle it?
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>> guest: is not common in the state and it's really a fascinating -- i don't know if it's a dilemma for me, but i have to think about different things to put in cultural values expectations what they are giving up to talk to me and what it means to them and what it means in the closer. so at the "washington post," traditionally had the strongest ethics rules that she could ever imagine if you did a christmas gift couldn't accept anything. our editor for a couple of decades didn't even vote. the result here and pristine. i myself has always had very strong personal ethics. but i'm operating on a different culture here.
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so i've had to make a few interesting decisions. a few months ago someone we wanted to interview before i got here, and altered in a little village said he would talk if we got him she goat. well, in that village when you visit that older you're expected to bring a gift. so pleasantly pain to talk to him. it was like paying to pay him a visit. i debated it for a while and said it costs about 60 bucks. then yesterday and today there's been situations where people have left work to talk to me and i've made up for that difference we've gotten a few photographs because to get the photographs that is totally within bounds. i've been hit up by publishers for a thousand dollars for a single photograph why can't i
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pay some poor kenyan 100 shillings for one. it's been that kind of situation. >> host: you've been to all ready to hawaii, kansas, is doing your research for this book and now you are in kenya. when does the research part of it and? >> guest: you know, you just know when you get there. actually the research ever has. i don't finish researching until the day and finished with the book. there is a day when i say okay i'm ready to start writing. i started this book essentially after this elected president. i've written a few pieces before i saw that, so i have some basis of research, particularly on his mother. i think when i get home from this incredible kenyan journey,
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onto canvas sides of the story pretty much completed and that's where the story begins interweaving these two incredibly different worlds that helped create this unique person. >> host: who came up this title? >> guest: i did. just bouncing around out of africa and then i said out of africa come out of hawaii come out of kansas come out of indignation at our chicago, out of this world. and so that's what i'm thinking. the book is two things. it's a world that created obama and then how he re-created himself. so i'm not sure if there's proportions yet. it will be important for me to get it right. perhaps even the first half of the book are not quite that
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much come at the main characters and even on at. and then come in the second half of the book is largely chicago in california, new york and boston thrown in sun. the likes of chicago and that's any re-created himself as a political being. and so, when you think about it we all are sort of created from a lot of different strains but i can't think of anybody more fascinating than obama. >> tell us about your team. >> i can tell you how happy i am about the people i'm working with. i don't know swahili i don't know luo which is the mother town of this part of kenya. swahili is the national language although most people speak english, that all job.
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they drive on the other side of the road here and i think i would've been dead in the first day if they try drive myself. plus there's no road signs. the places we've gone i couldn't have found in a million years and i'm pretty good at finding things. so i definitely needed a great driver and we got one. he's more than a driver. he's a friend interested in politics, gideon viscusi, a great guide. i needed somebody in the crowd to set up the interviews on health care documents from the kenyan archives and elsewhere and i lucked out and got kennametal paula, who is 40 years old one of the great investigative journalist veritas, straightforward, smart savvy, politically instinctive guy who's helped me immeasurably
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, who also does interpreting us immediately for me. i had the atreides of kahlo was a graduate student at the university of wisconsin and my son are when i needed some documents translated from luo into english my wife and i live in in the summer sent to the universe and safety of any speakers here quite one that is beatrice. she'd come over in the afternoons and translated i discovered she would be here right now when we were going to come to kenya and that her family is about 10 minutes from one of the obama homes. so beatrice has been our interpreter today and tomorrow. there's another member of my team, too, my wife linda who
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came along. [inaudible] >> guest: she was an environmentalist, terrific environmentalists who retired about seven years ago and has gone on every major trip i've taken since then. i am not a crime for anything, but i seem like when compared to highlight who is the best goodwill ambassador and a person could ever have. she makes rents wherever we go and helps pave the way for me. >> host: we're going to get to her, but i have one question before that. this is not a cheap trip. the number one had to get over here. you've got three people on staff the whole time for weeks. been to kansas hawaii, et cetera. as an author's advance cover all of us are just a portion?
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>> guest: i can't speak for every author and this is my 10th book and i get enough of an advance to pay for all of this and i have as my out there, i bancorporation, which is me and linda, so that has funds i can use for all of this stuff. but why do it if you're not going to do it thoroughly? i couldn't have done this trip without that kind of the team put together. so you know comments that way you could advance since been on vacations. a lot of it goes into the work of making the book. >> host: the family connections. the obama family connection. as a passive observer --
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[inaudible] i don't know who is who. >> guest: that's going to be challenged for me, to witness the. for a couple reasons. one is that it's a complicated web and the second reason, which is unavoidable is that kenyan names, red by readers in the united states can sound different to remember who's who et cetera. i have to deal to do with that and that's a challenge for any writer. i have some ways i've done it in the past. and now, essentially what is important to me is not quoting somebody. when you write a long narrative, to putting together a string of close for this reason that this and this person said that. though bared in a. i will take elements from each of the people it interview and
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weave them into the story that i tell. some of them will appear some of them want and they will appear in ways that the family tree will become understandable. you are right, there's a whole obama plan in one section of the area and there's another one that knows better and a larger district and that's where were obama stepgrandmother are not even blood relatives but she's the one that everybody goes to visit, everybody thinks that's where the obama served from. there's a whole another group of obama's but i will do more sensitive way than monty scenario in terms of what the
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story really comes from. it reminded me a little bit of the clinton book and what people thought because he said it. it is in clinton's convention acceptance, they ran a film, the man from hope. this little small town in southwestern arkansas, the simplicity of rural life and in fact he's from hot springs, a completely different place, much more cosmopolitan and complex with a darker side. the obama story is that people so far his coquette to want to sir and of the story of barack obama senior and his father takes place somewhere else and that's where the african section of this book will start. >> host: two final questions. we want to introduce our viewers to [inaudible] >> guest: leo you could not make out. he belongs in some kind of
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african john cover a novel. he is 73 years old. he walks around this menacing club. he's got a depot into a cinema and seems to know everybody in africa. the form president of tanzania to idi amin the dictator of uganda back in the 70s and 80s to everybody in kenya. he traveled with us. we met him yesterday had three or four hours of fascinating discussions and then traveled with us today in the morning. he was very close to barack obama senior into obama speech or in an assault the political intrigue of kenya and a lot of
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the personal promise and flaws of barack obama senior. >> host: was a valuable? did you have to listen carefully to what he said? >> guest: he was not ead? >> guest: he was not easy -- broccoli, this is the other key thing. you can't go on a trip like this unprepared. i spent months studying kenyan politics, going to an archive at the university of syracuse at the kenya national archives, a lot of information i got from there. and i really knew a lot of the background. if you just had a conversation cold with leo you wouldn't understand a word he said here but i knew where he was going. i knew a lot of the beginnings of the stories and so yes i could piece it together and it filled in 100 holes for me both
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in terms of the politics and obama senior's personal life. >> host: last question. you found and went to the house that president obama stayed at in 1987. where was it ever going to show the video. he looked really excited about it. >> guest: that's one of those moments that i described when we started this interview, where you just think i am right here. this is an incredible place to see him get to, impossible to find just out of the blue. if this has caused io clan compound in a little teeny villager compound and can do bad, probably an hour and a half from the city and it's just
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another one of those small heights really. it now had a cement floor brewer told when obama slept very cement wasn't there. it was just rolled med and he spent two nights they are when he was visiting that area in that part of the obama plan on his journey through africa, his first-ever trip there. and just to think it's not like -- it has nothing to do with how i feel about obama. and i don't approach a book that way anyway. he says the main character in my book. it has nothing to do with whether i like him or dislike him. it has to do with the history of seeing this little place before anybody knew who barack obama was. you know, he was 26 years old making that first turn it back to a land said he never seen
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before. as looking at this little hut on the floor, where he slept those nights in 1887 and it didn't overwhelm me, but it just made me realize that to see history is so much more powerful then to think about it or read about it. i'll be all to portray it but to see it brings it alive to me. and also brings my work allies. >> host: david maraniss, the interviewer shot over two years ago. and if you like to change? >> guest: faq change my books in a pathetic asthmatic voice. a couple things have changed. one is obviously the title of the book. you know we determined out of this road even though it was meant to evoke the fact is that global character could too easily lead into a pie something
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else. so we scrapped that. i publish are actually at simon & schuster, jonathan karp came up with the brilliant idea to call it the story, so that so we ended it and i'm very happy with that. or some other elements that are different. i get this book a place i didn't expect because i got so much rich information about a 10 year period from the time he left honolulu to go to college until he finished his community organizing to go to harvard. this 10 years became so important in terms of the evolution of his search for identity, they really became the last third of the book. so i decided to end it earlier than i expected. there will be another volume sunday, but this is the book that accessed me now. so, the ark of the book is
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somewhat different, the title is different. the essence is the same. the world that creative barack obama and how he created himself. just for the bookends the second 2004 in 1889 this is going up to boston to harvard law school. so barack obama is finally going to make an appearance in your book. it's about halfway through the book. >> guest: no, it's not halfway. it's 164 pages into a 587 page book. >> host: so they get to hawaii. how did his parents meet? >> guest: welcome his mother was 17 years old. >> host: i apologize, one step back. how did he get to hawaii? >> guest: her father stan dunham who say furniture sales and in mercer island or seattle, washington. they lived right next to seattle this other. he was always looking for the
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next thing. he moved from kansas to california, several time to seattle to why. so she came along with the family but she graduated an excellent public school in seattle. she was the only child. her name is stanley ann. i can take a story some other time. so she's there as a freshman. it's been there since 1959. also an undergraduate, even though much older, but that they do sign up for beginning russian class. this was during in schools all over this story considered the most important thing the public schools could do to prepare for the cold war and the race for the russians. they both ended up in a russian
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class and that's where they began. >> host: how long did they know each other before they got married? >> guest: they knew each other for five runs. while they've added september, they got married in february. she got pregnant before that. everything about it but us, you know, it was not a normal courtship nor marriage. >> host: what format the land and stanley's reaction to stanley bringing home an african client >> guest: welcome the matalin told another biographer. madeleine died before he started this book honestly could not interview her. david mindel said that madeline was described obama senior to him as very strange. so i it into the dumbest ever else around it.
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they were not happy. i don't want to feel horrified but it's very difficult for them. it wasn't necessarily because of race. it had a lot of elements to it. his personality, that is so much older and that their daughter was only 17 when they had met and when she got pregnant. she was incredibly intelligent young woman, so this could have a difficult effect on his life. they did now but another element was that obama senior, i know this i was reluctant to use the word womanizer. he was assuming that in honolulu on this issue is a no-name the only woman he's been with the new struggle from the start. >> host: barack obama senior married four times from a first in case in case you come in at 257. did they ever get divorced?
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>> guest: interesting. they got married in kenya in the culture according to obama senior and according to that area. there is no legal divorce ever. so when she was starting to call herself so blind married barack senior, she did not know his shoes under the impression that he was divorced but she was not legally. so in essence, it was a polygamist when he married her. >> host: they married in 1961 in february. barack obama senior was married to respect her who will talk about later and final marriage. kerry leaped a few years before he died. >> host: how many half siblings --
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>> guest: in the tea party said they didn't know. there are a couple of children. i don't want to get too far into that, but i'm not sure that the trinity of his children. it could be as many as eight. >> host: back to hawaii. february 1961, barack obama senior, someone get married. the president is born august for come in 1861 sunday the end sub one has taken him to seattle. gusto there's a lot of mythology that has nothing to do with the birth or idea of him being born in the bus over some other place, which may book documents completely fabricated, untrue. he was born in honolulu on august 4th. but as he would tell the story later in his own memoir it wasn't until his father left for harvard but the family split up and even the reasons for that are not what he says in the
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book. but shortly after he was born his mother went back to seattle enrolled part-time in the extension courses at the university of washington. so they never really fit together. when i interviewed all of the people who knew barack senior at the university of hawaii before he graduated and left, only one person could remember ann dunham at all. the others never saw her. so there is a mystery. she wasn't even there. she was in seattle. >> host: how long was she in seattle? >> guest: a year and a half. as a single mother, yes. she had babysitters and she went to school part-time sort of got herself back together. the first semester at university of hawaii has been difficult because she got pregnant. she had to redeem herself academically she did that at the university of hawaii.
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after barack senior had left to go to harvard, she and barry came back. >> host: 1962 to 1867 they're back in honolulu. who was her second husband? >> guest: her second husband was an international guy, lolo soetoro from indonesia. he had come there to the east-west center which brought students from various asian countries to hawaii and brought americans to honolulu to the same center who were prepared to go to asia for different studies. and that's where she met him. he was a tennis player. he was very gregarious at that time and she fell in love with lolo. >> host: at what point did they move to jakarta? >> guest: she went back first. he had been there, you know both barack senior and lolo are
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constantly be washed by the ins for different regulations on visas and so on. so lolo could only stay for a certain amount of time. he can try to extend his visa after he married her and find out ways to save. because certain jobs he said were related to the geography he had learned and topography in honolulu to keep them there. eventually indonesia was changing and dramatic, political wave and he was forced back in 1966. make to 67 and a covert, barry obama and his mother and so tarot booth that. >> host: so the president of the ninja nation from 67 to 61 pages six through 10? 's >> guest: just about four years. >> host: why you were in


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